Sunday, October 2, 2016

Week in Review

55 miles
13M with 2 x 4 miles with 1M moderate recovery in 605/603//601/602 (635) 606/601/557/552
12.7M MLR with 5 miles progression at 627, 623, 611, 608, 601

Just one more week until I toe the line at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon!  After taking my easy runs SUPER easy, my legs finally felt decent again in a workout!  I was thrilled to hit the times in the 2 x 4 mile workout and I finally feel recovered from being sick and running pretty hard through it.  I'm ready to get there already!!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Week in Review

74 Miles
15.6M with 5 x Broken 2K repeats (1000m with 200m float, 800m fast, 400m jog rest)
     84/87/43 (57) 81/82 (2:08)
     87/86/43 (57) 81/82 (2:15)
     84/84/42 (59) 80/82 (2:03)
     84/84/42 (65) 81/82 (2:03)
     84/84/42 (53) 81/81

18M with 10 miles at 601/602/558/601/602/601/603/601/604/555

Phew, what a week! I'm definitely ready for a solid taper! And after Saturday's workout, Terry emailed me that I get the best (and worst!) present of all:  a really nice taper.  But first, let's start with Wednesday.  My trusty training partner, Jonah, and I headed out to the track near El Camino to run the broken 2K repeats workout.  Ironically enough, the last time I did this workout was back in late March in Durham when my marriage was crumbling apart in front of my eyes.  For more reasons than one, I wanted to really crush this workout, and I did just that!  Also, it's a really fun way to do a track workout.  Typically I cringe when I see that Terry's created a workout that logistically works better on the track, but I knew that this one would be more interesting than just doing 400m repeats or countless mile repeats.  

On Saturday, Jonah and I headed out for my final big marathon workout.  It was a bright and sunny day, and I gave Jonah strict orders that we should run 605 pace.  Instead, we were running low 600s to high 550s.  By mile 9, I watched as Jonah pulled away from me and I maintained my pace.  I didn't go with him because mainly I felt like crap, but I also didn't consider trying to go with him because I know that I've got a marathon in two weeks and he does not.  It was so cute because at the end of the workout, when Jonah rounded back for me, he immediately asked "Are you okay?!" because it's the first time he's seen me do less than how the workout was written.  I'm used to having workouts where I feel like poo-poo, but he's never really seen that happen yet.  After reading my log about how tired my legs feel, Terry immediately responded with strict instructions to take my slower runs even easier and to reduce my mileage.  I am happy I get to take a step back from running, but I also loathe taper weeks because they get so boring and tedious. I also typically feel super bloated during taper because I'm not running as much and because I'm eating more carbs than normal.

Terry also said that my tempo workout gave a good indicator as to what a good target pace is for Chicago - and I agreed with his assessment.  We both recognized that the best way to PR at Chicago is to run 605 pace through at least halfway or even 18 and then to try to run faster after that.  At least now I have a goal that my own coach also believes I can achieve!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Week in Review

66 Miles
2 Days off
15M with workout of 4 x 2.5M (800m rest) at 556/555/257 (326) 550/555/252 (328) 
555/556/253 (343) 553/557/253
11.5M with 12 x 200m repeats at 40s with 200m jog rest
24M time on feet long run in 2:55 (7:17 pace), with no food before hand, 2 sips of water

Despite having taken off two days due to sickness, I absolutely killed my runs this week.  I have always prided myself on my ability to listen to my body, even if it means taking a day off.  It's really helped me to put aside my ego and just trust that taking time off will be better for me in the long run.  As a result of my strange stomach virus on Sunday, I felt like total crap on Monday and Tuesday. I didn't run or climb and focused on just taking naps and sleeping a lot.  By the time Wednesday rolled around, I knocked out 9 miles easily.  I decided to try out the original workout of 5 x 2.5 miles on Thursday because I'd have the company of Jonah.  For this workout, my notes were recorded as follows:

  1. Super glad I took Monday and Tuesday off from running. 
  2. This went 100x better than I was expecting given how sick and tired and just terrible I felt Sunday through Tuesday.  It was harder trying to slow down to run 555 pace than it was to run 550 pace. It just felt SO effortless!  
  3. Thank god for Jonah. 
  4. After the third one, I stopped for a quick sip of water and the jog rest time doesn't reflect that so it was probably more like a 4:00 rest. 
  5. YAY!   I killed this workout!  This is the first time that I've really walked away knowing that I'm in shape to PR at Chicago.
Saturday and Sunday were also somewhat big days, with a light 200m workout, followed by a long run on the rolling hills of Canada Road with some of my guys.  Most, if not all, of my runs this week were spent with Jonah and I am SO GRATEFUL for his company.  Especially this week, when I was doubting my ability to get runs in after my sickness, his presence was crucial.  For the long run on Sunday, I made the mistake of only drinking water and not eating any food before.  I had only 2 tiny sips of water during the run so that in the final 2 miles of the run, my body was seriously bonking.  My legs started to feel eerily similar to the end of a marathon, so ultimately I was grateful for the practice of running on really tired legs and the chance to use my mind to overcome my protesting body parts.  

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Week in Review

83.6 miles
14M with workout of 5 x 1.5M with splits of 600/252 (2:00), 555/250 (1:59), 557/249 (1:59), 601/250 (2:01), 556/244
21M  at 648 average pace

It's always fun to take advantage of a bank holiday by running 16 miles.  I was so relieved to have the entire three day weekend to myself, without any major plans so that I could just focus on training.  With Peter in China for work, I had a lot of time to just pack up my things for my upcoming move and also to catch up on writing all the training plans for my athletes.

For the 1.5M workout, I did this solo at Stanford around the 2 mile road loop.  I thought it was going to go quite poorly, but it went rather well. I was really stoked to hit - and even surpass - the target workout splits without the company and encouragement from the usual suspects like Heather or Jonah.  I should also note that I decided to start lifting again, so I was really sore during this workout because I took a three month hiatus from picking up anything over 25 pounds.  I only decided to lift because my lower back was beginning to get tight again - which is what caused my achilles injury last October - so I did not want to see any of that force me out of Chicago.

Peter made it back on Friday and by Sunday, I'd knocked out 21 miles with Jonah, Max and Tom on Canada Road.  I didn't feel great on this one and actually ran a bit slower than Terry had planned, but I knew that it was more important to listen to my body and just run on feel.  I still closed the last 2 miles in 620 and 559, so it wasn't a *terrible* run, just not example 14-16 miles at 630-645 pace as written.  The unfortunate cap to this weekend was when I spent the rest of the afternoon feeling absolutely terrible, ultimately resulting in vomiting a couple of times, among other things.  It was great to have Peter there because he made sure I had whatever I needed to at least feel somewhat better, which was mainly just moral support and saltine crackers.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Week in Review

83 Miles
20.5M Long Run with 11 miles at 605, 600, 602, 558, 604, 608, 605, 602, 606, 605, 555
15M with 3 x 3 miles w/ 800m jog rest via 552/556/556 (3:28), 552/559/549 (3:45), 554/557/552
8 Runs, 0 Days Off
3 Rock Climbing Days
1 Lift Session

What a great week! I kicked off the week with my last day spent with some of my favorite guys - Nick and Matt - which included a rock climbing session plus some yummy dinner in Palo Alto.  The rest of the week was spent catching up on sleep, running a lot, and working and climbing more.  Coach T-Bone's plan for the week was somewhat daunting, but I managed to hit all the pace and mileage goals without a hitch!  Peter is gone in China for this week and next, so I figured I would take advantage of the free time by knocking out some solid miles and also taking some time to reflect.

I am in such a good place right now.

My training is going really well and I finally have friends to share the miles with.  I've created a solid crew to run with in the mornings (which is surprisingly a much more difficult feat than it sounds since Californians loooove to sleep in and run in the afternoon).  I've gained back the divorce weight that I lost during the roughest weeks and I look healthy again!

The first half of this year was one of the toughest moments of my life, but so far the second half is shaping up to be pretty fan-freaking-tastic.  I'm so excited to toe the line at Chicago in just five weeks.  It's such a privilege to be able to toe the line with so many professional runners and then also so many of my great friends.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Week In Review

83 Miles
14M with 8M tempo via 556, 612, 559, 554, 604, 600, 551, 555
23.5M at 6:59 pace
8 Runs, 0 Days Off

The marathon training grind really kicked off this week.  When Terry had an 8 mile tempo on the schedule for marathon pace, I immediately synced with Heather to see if her workout was somewhat similar. Fortunately, she had 6 miles at MP, so I hopped on board with her to that we could both mutually benefit from running together.  I continue to be amazed at the support I've found out here, both from a running and personal perspective.  I had a bit of a cold this week, and Heather just chatted away during this workout, keeping my mind off the struggle I was facing.  I felt bad because I couldn't respond with much more than "yeah, it's great" for most of the run.

On Saturday, Tom and Jenna joined me for portions of a time on feet long run where I had strict instructions to drink very little to no water.  I got a couple of sips just twice during the run, and I was grateful that I did if more just for the mental sanity it provided me.

I can't believe that Chicago is in just 6 weeks!  It became more real because some Bank of America associates came out to meet me at Rancho San Antonio for a photo shoot for an article.  Typically BOA features about 12 athletes who have really cool, inspiring stories related to the marathon.  Most of the folks are real heros, battling cancer or running with a handicap or helping save lives in other countries.  My story obviously isn't along those lines, but they wanted to feature me since I do work for Bank of America.  Ironically, while I've been extremely open about my divorce to everyone in both my work and personal lives, I didn't want to make that the spotlight for the piece on me.  So instead it's mostly about the injury leading up to the Trials, which was really just a small blip on the map compared to all the other junk that happened in the first quarter of 2016.

But I digress.  I'm so honored and humbled to be included in the BOA Chicago Elite field.  After all, I was rejected at least twice before to this program.  Over the years, Bank of America has supported my endeavors to pursue training for the Olympic Trials and also to graduate from the Duke Fuqua School of Business while working full time.  Even during my separation, when I felt like I was putting my career on the line by requesting to work from Durham for an undetermined amount of time, my manager came through and let me do it, no questions asked.  It's moments like those that made me feel like I truly mattered, not only as an employee, but as a person.  I can thank all of my current and past managers for creating that culture.  My managers have been completely supportive of me during my 8-year stint at this company, so it's very meaningful for me to race as a way of saying thanks for all that they've done over the past couple of years.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Week in Review

71 Miles
11.5M MLR
20 Miles LR in 6:52 pace in Seattle
7 Runs, 1 Day Off
3 Days in Seattle
3 Days in DC

So this wasn't exactly the week that I was hoping for from a marathon training standpoint, but I chose not to let it get to me. I've been on a whirlwind of a travel tour every weekend in August, so I'm happy that I'm still prioritizing my long runs.  I ditched my workout target (8 miles at MP) and opted instead to do a long run with Josh, a guy that I had strava-stalked through some mutual friends.  Running with Josh was a perfect way to get a full tour of Seattle while also taking advantage of the much cooler weather on the West Coast before heading to DC for Katie's wedding.

As an aside - have I mentioned lately how FREAKING awesome Strava is? I swear that Strava is the technology version of myself -- always connecting runners.  Caleb used to always say he was so impressed by my ability to recruit at least one other person to join runs.  He always expected a surprise person to pop up on our runs because of my tendency to be inclusive.  Strava has allowed me -- through segments and CRs -- to find folks that run near my current location AND folks who can run the same pace as me.  It's seriously the best.  It really pulled through for me in Seattle, as I did 20 with Josh on Wednesday and then 10 with Roger on Thursday.

After my work trip to Seattle, I flew back to SFO, where I met Peter and together we flew to DC for Katie and Torin's wedding.  It was such a raw, real and uninhibited ceremony.  I was so content to witness Katie and Torin reveal why and when they fell in love and then to celebrate with them at the reception.  It was so great seeing familiar Fuqua faces including Kishor, Claire and Randi.  It was a really great week, filled with lots of good friends!